This Week in COVID-19: FDA Nears Decision on Novavax Vaccine

COVID-19 updates and news to know as of May 16, 2022.

As cases rise around the country, the Drug Topics® editorial team weekly COVID-19 update is back. Be sure to check in with us every Monday for the latest news to know.

As of May 16, there have been 82,376,975 COVID-19 cases in the United States. In the last 7 days, there have been 632,365 new cases identified. (CDC)

As the pandemic death toll approaches another grim milestone of 1 million deaths, cases in the United States are “spreading at an alarming rate” across the Northeast and Midwest. Upwards of 90,000 new cases are being identified daily, representing a 60% increase from 2 weeks ago. (New York Times)

And according to tracking data, hot spots include New Jersey, New York, western Massachusetts, and western Vermont, as well as areas in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. As of today, daily case reports are higher today than were reported at the peak of the Delta surge last summer. (New York Times)

An analysis of real world data from the CDC and the New York Times, conducted jointly by researchers at Brown School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Microsoft AI for Health, found that COVID-19 vaccines could have prevented more than 300,000 COVID-19 related deaths between January 2021 and April 2022. (ABC News)

New data from the CDC documenting the disparities in COVID-19 related infection, hospitalization, and death by race and ethnicity highlights the way in which health inequity in the United States impacted communities differently. (CDC; ABC News)

New York City is “poised to hit ‘high’ COVID-19 alert level” in the next few days, and city health officials are set to issue an advisory strongly urging residents to once more mask up indoors and in public settings. (NBC 4 New York)

Only 2 months after the release of the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 roadmap, the White House has begun to weigh sacrifices—including limiting next-gen vaccine access to the highest-risk Americans and shifting responsibility for the pandemic response to the private sector—as funding for the COVID-19 fight runs out. (Politico)

Although cases are on the rise in California, Los Angeles County remains “far” from meeting the metrics required to reissue a mask mandate—but county officials continue to “strongly recommend” that residents aged 2 and older wear high-quality masks in indoor public settings. (LA Times)

Novavax officials ae “confident” that the FDA will issue an emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine in June, following a monthslong review process at the FDA. Novavax CCO John Trizzino is hopeful that the vaccine, which uses conventional protein technology, will offer an alternative option to adults who are hesitant to receive an mRNA shot. (CNBC)

Check back next Monday for the latest updates and COVID-19 news you need to know.